news | Tuesday September 28, 2010

Charles Olson is One Hundred!


The Charles Olson Centennial approaches, and the planned events in Gloucester involve not merely reading and studying Olson’s work but bringing it to life for the general public. The celebration includes an award-winning documentary film, a dance performance, panel discussions, and much more.

There are even reports of Charles Olson‘s excitement about his 100th birthday. Well, not exactly. This is more speculation concerning the fate of his tombstone, which is in danger of splitting in half. Olson died in 1970 and was buried in Gloucester’s Beechbrook Cemetery, where the 40-year old stone is cracking apart. There is already discussion underway about the best way to fix the unique tombstone, which bears a Puritan-style “Death’s Head” motif.

Notwithstanding, Gloucester writer and activist Peter Anastas and fellow Charles Olson Society event organizers — poet and teacher James Cook, poets Kent Bowker and Schuyler Hoffman, writer and bookseller Greg Gibson, filmmaker Henry Ferrini, the nephew of Olson contemporary and fellow legendary Gloucester poet Vincent Ferrini, will participate in activities at several local arts-oriented venues, from Cape Ann Museum and Sawyer Free Library to the newly opened writers’ center in East Gloucester.

Recently, in conjunction with the Centennial, Talonbooks published a revised edition of Charles Olson lectures and interviews in Muthologos, edited by Ralph Maud.

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